Del Mar father pleads guilty in college admissions scandal

DEL MAR, Calif. — A Del Mar man has pleaded guilty for paying bribes to facilitate the admission of his children to the University of Southern California as a athletic recruits, federal officials said Friday.

Toby Macfarlane, 56, a former senior executive at a title insurance company, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton scheduled sentencing for Nov. 13, 2019.

According to court documents, Macfarlane agreed to pay Newport Beach businessman William Rick Singer, the admitted ringleader of the cheating scandal, $450,000 to participate in the college recruitment scheme for his children.

According to the terms of the plea agreement, the government will recommend a sentence of 15 months in prison, one year of supervised release, a fine of $95,000, restitution and forfeiture.

The charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dozens of parents and college athletic coaches were implicated in the nationwide bribery scandal, in which wealthy parents paid Singer thousands of dollars to have their children’s entrance-exam scores doctored. In other cases, students were falsely admitted to elite universities as athletic recruits, even though they never had any experience in the sports for which they were being recruited, prosecutors said.

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